Jim Forrest was a family man first.

He paid for his son’s college education, and set up college funds for his three grandsons. He helped raise his five siblings after his father died, and spent countless hours on Poplar Avenue with his many relatives at the family’s summer home in Wildwood.

“He had such great fun on the boardwalk at Wildwood with all his family around,” said son Jay. “He got so much joy from them.”

Mr. Forrest, 77, died on Wednesday, Aug. 5, of COVID-19 at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Mr. Forrest grew up in Philadelphia. He went to Cardinal Dougherty High School, and joined the Army after graduation. He earned a business degree from Rider University after his military service, and worked as an administrator with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority for 27 years. He retired in 2005.

“He was a completely self-made man,” his son said. “He put himself through college, and then did mostly everything with his family.”

Mr. Forrest and son Jay were close and shared a love of family.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Forrest and son Jay were close and shared a love of family.

Mr. Forrest was an active man. He enjoyed working out, and skiing in Killington, Vt. He was an avid golfer, played racquetball and tennis, and fished. He followed all the Philly sports teams, and was at Veterans Stadium on Oct. 20, 1993, when the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Phillies, 15-14, in Game 4 of the World Series.

He had a keen sense of humor, and loved to laugh. He liked to visit amusement parks with his nieces and nephews, and watch westerns, especially John Wayne films. Christmas was his favorite holiday, and he followed the New York Stock Exchange. He loved music, and traveled with family and friends to the Caribbean and Europe.

Mr. Forrest (second from right, back row) always put his family first.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Forrest (second from right, back row) always put his family first.

He took his son to Las Vegas on his 21st birthday, and they returned several times. The two also rafted the Colorado River together, and spent two weeks seeing the sights in Amsterdam.

“Jimbo was a loving and loyal father, brother, and friend, a ripple in still water to the many lives he touched,” the family wrote in a tribute.

In addition to his son and grandsons, Mr. Forrest is survived by a brother and sister, and other relatives. His former wife, Sandra, died earlier.

— Gary Miles, gmiles@inquirer.com